APPENDIX F -
RADIO FREQUENCIES USED BY THE RCN

The frequencies listed in the table directly below were recorded from various pieces of equipment found aboard HMCS HAIDA. These are representative of the 1950's and '60's . Unless otherwise noted, all frequencies are in Kc.
DEVICE FREQUENCIES USED DEVICE FREQUENCIES USED
CM11
s/n ?
2182, 2300, 2518, 2716, 2826, 4739 PV500 HM2
s/n ?
3261, 4178, 5172, 6267, 8536, 12534, 16712
CM11
s/n 298
3261, 3530, 3600, 7040, 7105, 7120, 7985 PV500 HM
s/n 307
3261, 5172, 5190, 6800, 7985, 9480, 9890, 13657
CM11
s/n 162
2068.75, 2086, 3274, 4122.2, 5555, 5875.
CSR-5A 3261, 5172, 5190, 7985 ----------- 2716 kHz was used for communications when entering or leaving harbour.
CSR5A
s/n 577
4283, 6386.5, 6449.5, 8566, 866212849, 12984    
TE236 
s/n255 
(A) 115.3 continuous
(B) 4356.5 continuous
(C) 6449.5 contiunous
(D) 8662 continuous
(E) 12984 continuous
(F) 17218 continuous
(G) 22587 on request
TE 236
s/n 255
Found on front panel placard:
16 kc GYA
44.94 kc GYA
73.6 kc CFH
81 kc GYB
133.15 kc CFH
TE236
s/n 303 
GBR 16.0, FUB, GQD,GBY, GYC URR35 281.9 , 300.7, 339.4, 357.0, 389.8 Mcs

OTHER FREQUENCY ASSIGNMENTS

This is an extract from the NATO Naval Wireless Organization of the early 1950's:

FOR CONVOYS

Broadcast - 115.3 kc/s
Tactical Common - 72.1 Mc/s
Convoy Escort - 2410 kc ( for ships out of range of 72.1)
Anti-Submarine Warfare Primary - 140.58 Mc/s when aircraft are part of the task force.

HARBOUR COMM

Ships within 50 miles of CFH Halifax would use 2716 kc/s on radio telephone and 2844 KHz for CW.
The CM11 was used extensively for voice comms when entering and leaving Halifax Harbour.   On entering the approaches, the CM11 was tuned to “Harbour Common”  2716 KHz for voice, or 2844 for Morse. Voice was used to communicate with the naval  Harbour Master Office at HMCS Scotian (located in the dockyard). Scotian would advise berthing information and any other salient information regarding the ship’s arrival. The Comms Office at Scotian (it was also a Message Centre) was manned by women who followed naval voice procedures when communicating.  If Scotian could not be raised, Morse comms could be established with CFH at Albro Lake.

Once berthed and ready for an extended stay, all traffic for the ship would be routed to the Message Centre at Scotian, then physically picked up two or three times daily by either a radio staff person, but most likely by a signalman. HMCS Scotian, at the time, was also the office of the Flag Officer, Atlantic Coast - CANFLAGLANT.

HMCS Scotian was also a Naval Reserve training facility and  also housed the office of the Flag Officer Atlantic Coast (CANFLAGLANT) Harbour Common was flashed up for the entire duration a vessel was in harbour, not just for entering and leaving. CFH also had a Message Centre with radio capability for all ships in harbour, and was located on the upper floor of a three or four red brick building in the Dockyard.

Here is a sample message exchange as HMCS Micmac approached Halifax harbour.

CFH (Charlie Fox How) this is Charlie Yoke Victor Nan  (Micmac)
how do you read me.  Over
 
CYVN this is CFH I read you loud and clear.  Over
 
(CYVN) Roger, hear you the same.  Do you have traffic for Micmac? Over
 
(This is CFH) We have 3 messages for Micmac.  Pleased be reminded
the office closes at  (1730 hrs).   Over
 
Roger CFH, if we are alongside in time we will send someone to pick
up our traffic.  Over
 
(CFH) Roger.  Out


HF DISTRESS

Besides 500 kc/s, 8280 KHz was also a designated distress frequency in the 1950-70 era . At the time, 8280 KHz  was in the centre of the 8 MHz calling band. All stations that were assigned 8 MHz  frequencies maintained a watch on that band 24 hours of every day of the year. Therefore, any operator monitoring that band would be swinging back and forth across 8280 KHz continuously.  This frequency was changed to 8364 KHz and remained at 8364 KHz until the termination of CW in the marine bands. Calling and working frequency assignments continually decreased over the years as many countries demanded more and more frequencies for intentional shortwave broadcasting. But 8364 KHz  remained the centre frequency in what remained of the 8 MHz calling band. No ship or coastal station was ever assigned 8364 KHz  nor was it used as a calling frequency. It was left as a clear channel for lifeboat radio transmitters only.

It is believed that during the 1950's,  the bands were laid out so that passenger liners called on the frequencies below and the freighters called in on the frequencies above 8364 KHz. On making contact, a passenger ship went to a working frequency just below the 8mcs calling band and a freighter went to a working frequency just above the 8 MHz calling band. This also meant that each station assigned to the 8 MHz band continuously passed 8364 kcs as the duty operator swung back and forth across the band.

SHIP TO SHORE

Here is another extract of ship-to-shore frequencies of the early 1950's:

WATCH
HOURS
CALLING
FREQ
WORKING
FREQ
ANSWERING
FREQ
CALL
SIGN
Continuous watch 4135 to 4145 4163 4740 CFH
Continuous watch 6202.5 to 6217.5 6244.5 6395 CFH2
Continuous watch 8270 to 8290 8326 8367.5 CFH3
10:00 to 02:00Z 12405 to 12435 12489 12520 CFH4
10:00 to 23:59Z 16540 to 16580 16652 16845 CFH5
10:00 to 23:59Z 22920 22920 22055 CFH6
FREQUENCIES OF ACTUAL CRYSTALS  USED BY THE RCN

Crystals for the URR-35 receiver  and the URR-21/TDQ transmitter (optionally) came in metal storage boxes from the manufacturer of the equipment. There may be a matching crystal box for the TED-3 transmitter as well. It is not known if the RCN distributed any crystals in metal boxes such as these because the ships in the fleet were fitted with a crystal cabinet in the main radio room circa 50s and 60s.  That cabinet would have stored all the necessary crystal types that were required to carry out routine operations.

urt502_xtal_box_s.jpgCR-24/U crystal set for URR-35 receiver. NATO p/n 5955-267-6857. Click to enlarge. (Photo by Jerry Proc)  urr21_tdq_xtal_set_s.jpgFT-243 crystal set for URR21/TDQ transmitter. Click to enlarge. (Photo by Jerry Proc) 
In the late 1990's, the RCN donated a substantial amount of obsolete CR-24/U and Marconi-style crystals to HMCS HAIDA. These crystals were suitable for use in the TED-3/URR-35 UHF equipment and the CM-11/CSR-5/PV-500 transmitting/receiving equipment. There were some 628 crystals of the CR-24U variety and some 119 Marconi crystals with multiple examples of some frequencies.

Jim Brewer, now HAIDA's shipkeeper,  carefully catalogued the CR-24 crystals to show what frequencies they could transit or receive on depending on whether they were used in the URR-35 receiver or the TED-3 (URT-502) transmitter. Similarly he did the same for the Marconi HF crystals and built all the wooden racks to store them. For the Marconi crystals, they were catalogued by their fundamental frequency and also that of the second and third harmonic. Many crystals were hand-marked by RCN operators with the second and third harmonic values so that is proof they were used on harmonics.

Select this link to see the frequencies of the CR-24/U crystals.
Select this link to see the frequencies of the Marconi crystals.



Contributors and Credits:

1) Dennis Stapleton <lor-den(at)cogeco.ca>

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Feb 4/13